• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Italy may criminalize Holocaust denial

The Local · 16 Oct 2013, 11:33

Published: 16 Oct 2013 11:33 GMT+02:00

The Senate’s Justice Committee approved a bill to amend part of Italy’s criminal code to specify Holocaust denial as a crime, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The move will strengthen a law which already says defending crimes against humanity can be punished by up to five years in prison.

Politicians from nearly all parties passed the amendment, the newspaper reported.

“This is an important response to all the historical revisionists, unfortunately present in Italy and in Europe, that want to distort history and memory,” said Monica Cirinnà, a committee member, was quoted by the website, Blitz Quotidiano, as saying.

The decision comes as Italy marks the 70th anniversary since Jews were rounded up from the Rome Ghetto and sent to concentration camps. Of more than 1,000 people deported, only 16 returned.

The news also follows the death on Friday of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke in Rome, who was serving a sentence for his part in the Ardeatine caves massacre in 1944. A total of 335 Italians were killed in the massacre; a response to a partisan attack on German soldiers.

Priebke was himself a Holocaust denier and never showed regret for his actions.

Cirinnà said the Senate decision could help combat the former SS officer’s legacy: “The approval of the degree will be a conclusive response to the contents of Priebke’s will that could deny the existence of the gas chambers in concentration camps.”

Story continues below…

A funeral service for Priebke on Tuesday attracted neo-Nazi sympathisers, prompting concern that if he is buried the grave could become a pilgrimage site. 

Don't want to miss a story about Italy? - Then join The Local Italy on Facebook and Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Forty children drown as shipwrecks claim up to 700
A migrant boat capsizing last week. Photo: Courtesy of Marina Militare

A week of shipwrecks and death in the Mediterranean culminated Sunday with harrowing testimony from migrant survivors who said another 500 people including 40 children had drowned, bringing the number of feared dead to 700.

Dozens missing in fresh migrant shipwreck: rescuers
Dozens more migrants are reported missing after a fishing boat sank on Friday. Photo: AFP

The Italian coastguard is searching for survivors after an overloaded fishing boat sank off the coast of Libya.

'Racist' Chinese ad causes outrage...but Italy did it first
Screengrab: Qiaobi/YouTube

A TV advert for a Chinese laundry detergent has been widely condemned, with commentators saying it’s the most racist ad to ever be screened. But hang on, a similar one was made in Italy...

Alicia Keys to sing live at Milan Champions League final
Alicia Keys will become the first person to sing live at a Champions League final. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/AFP

The final will be held at Milan's San Siro stadium on Saturday.

Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
The wreck of the P311. Photo: Massimo Domenico Bondone

People were stunned by the discovery of a body-filled, Second World War-era submarine off the coast of Sardinia earlier this week, not least Paul Denison, who told The Local his great-uncle was among the 71 who perished on board.

Man can pay ex-wife's alimony with pizza, Italian court rules
A court in Padua has ruled in favour of a divorced father who pays alimony to his ex-wife in the form of pizza. Photo: Erich Ferdinand/Flickr

Every family's needs are different...

Iconic photos of Hiroshima horror go on show in Rome
Ken Domon at work. Photo: Wikimedia commons

It is the first time the works have gone on display outside Japan.

Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
The research paints a grim picture of the dangers faced by ancient Roman workers . Photo: Carla Caladarini

The average Roman worker suffered several broken bones, had arthritis at 20 and was dead by 30.

Video
Over 100 feared dead in new migrant boat tragedies in Med
An image taken of Wednesday's migrant shipwreck. Photo: Marina Miltare

Over 100 migrants were feared dead on Thursday after two crowded boats capsized off Libya in separate incidents, with one of the tragedies captured on video that shows dramatic rescues and desperate final moments.

Italian man lay dead in flat for 5 years before anyone noticed
The man's body was found at his home in Cagliari, Sardinia. Photo: Simon Frost

"Nobody questioned his disappearance, nobody went looking for him."

Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
2,522
jobs available